When you’re visiting an unfamiliar location, Google Maps for mobile is great for getting an idea of how close you are to your destination, where streets and landmarks are in relation to each other, or just for getting “un-lost.” But what if you don’t have a data signal, or you’re abroad and don’t have a data plan? We say that if you use Google Maps for mobile, you’ll never need to carry a paper map again. The “Download map area” lab in Google Maps 5.7 for Android
is a step in making that statement true even when you’re offline.
Let’s say later you’re visiting Bordeaux during a trip to France. If you were to open Google Maps for mobile and zoom into Bordeaux without data coverage or wifi, you’d see the image on the left:
That’s not particularly useful when you’re trying to find out how close you are to the Cathedrale St. Andre
. But a little advance planning and “Download map area” can help. Before you take your trip, while you still have access to WiFi or data coverage, you can open up any Places page
in the world, click “More” to get the Place page menu, and download Google’s maps for a 10-mile radius.
The download can take as little as a minute or two. This download stores only the base map tiles and the landmarks on the map, so you still need a data connection to see satellite view and 3D buildings, search for Places and get directions. But we hope the level of detail available will help you find your way!
All your downloaded map areas can be managed in your Google Maps cache settings so you can delete maps you no longer need or if you want to free up storage. After 30 days, all downloaded map areas will be removed from your cache; they can be re-downloaded any time.